I cannot confirm nor deny I told the guy to my left to give me a harrumph or that I didn’t loudly proclaim my support for the insane gambler.
Nor can I tell you that I didn’t suggest they do that voodoo that you do, all I can say is the flick made the flight back to Texas go just a little bit faster.
The kid next to me heard me respond to Hedley that everyone needs a good Shtupp and asked me to explain.
I smiled and asked if he knew a certain song and when he said no I said to go look it up.
“When you understand the song you’ll understand the reference…maybe.”
What Do You See?
The last 10 days are a blur and it is hard for me to pull apart the pieces and make chronological sense of them.
Certain things like dad’s funeral are easy, at least in the sense I can see them as separate patches of this giant quilt, but that doesn’t provide real clarity yet.
Maybe it is because the whole thing is overwhelming or because I got so little sleep during it.
For the moment there are bright spots that jump out at me and some of them I put on paper because I want to make sure I always remember and some I won’t because forgetting them is a good thing.
A couple of days into dad’s stay at the hospice we saw the impact of the drugs they used to sedate and make him comfortable.
And by a couple of days I mean it could have been an hour or a month because time lost meaning to me for a while there.
So I mark this moment as a couple 0f days knowing it might have been less or more.
Dad and I are alone for the first time in a while. He is not really speaking anymore and it is an effort for him to keep his eyes open.
I pull close to his bed and try to tell him how hard this moment is. I apologize and say I know it is not fair for me to be saying it, but I can’t not.
As I try to spit it out I get choked up and struggle to get the words past my lips.
Dad squeezes my hand and smiles. His blue eyes are bright, wide open and clear.
Part of me is amazed that at the end he is still trying to protect and comfort me and part of me wonders how hard it was for him to come up with the energy there.
I wanted to ask him a question or two and share a few things but family burst in and rushed to his side.
Any other time I would have made a point to ask them if they had bothered to notice he and I were in the middle of something, but not this time.
I wonder if it was anything like this.
What Comes Next?
A few hours ago my family pulled up to our house and I was spared the task of going through another very quiet night.
Tomorrow I’ll go back to work and resume a routine and do what every one has to do regardless of what happens.
Face that life goes on.
That is not as difficult as it might sound nor as easy as just saying I’ll do it.
This isn’t the right song for this moment but I d0n’t have the patience to look for it so I’ll use it.
I have learned that the death of a parent is far more profound than I had ever imagined. It was like a hammer blow to the head and a kick to the gut.
But if dad were here I’d tell him the same thing I say to whomever reads this.
“I take this potch and I throw it away.”
I don’t know how to give it up and or just lie down and let life beat me up. I am far too dumb, er stubborn and pretty good at taking a beating and still walking forward.
More than a few people have asked me to remember I can lean upon them and said I am able to call day or night if I want.
I appreciate that and I might even do it.
My lack of reaching out isn’t necessarily indicative of not trusting or wanting to. If you have asked for information and I have been reticent to give it there is usually one of two things going on.
- We don’t have the kind of relationship where I am going to open up and tell you much.
- I am willing to tell you but I am not going to do it by email. It is either going to be by phone or in person because text is too damn hard for me. I can’t answer 900 questions that way.
I can promise you that I am not going to just collapse and that I believe there will be waves that hit me hard and some of them will be unexpected.
No one said this would be easy and I haven’t ever expected it as such, but I have been through hell before.
It is a different sort than this, but still hell.
My skin is thick and my trust in my ability to survive unquestioned. You don’t go through that without gaining coping skills.
And as I have mentioned before, my dad died way too young which is tragic, but not a tragedy.
He lived a very full life and got to see all of his children grow up. He was retired for almost 15 years. He was married for 51 and has six grandchildren ranging in age from 12-18.
Those are good things.
Dad would have appreciated so many things and I have already found a dozen that I wish I could tell him about.
Several months ago we talked about Blazing Saddles and whether people would flip out if it were made today.
We wondered about some of the Jewish humor and if would be missed or understood and laughed at the social commentary.
Laughed because if you didn’t you might cry that issues we thought were behind us are clearly still prevalent.
But so it goes.